Drought affects outdoor recreation businesses

Feb 18, 2014 1:05 AM

It's no doubt that this winter has been far from normal and it's affecting our local economy. Depending on which local businesses you talk to, some are seeing an increase in sales while others are hurting.

"Record breaking," said Scott Denney, Owner of Hughes Ski Hut. That's how some business owners in the north state are describing sales this season. With the lack of snow up in the mountains, ski shops are seeing fewer people walk through their doors. "We have very, very little snow. We have a lot less foot traffic, a lot less rentals going out, and just a lot less stuff going on," said Denney.

With Mount Shasta Ski Park only being open for 4 days this season, many have been looking elsewhere to hit the slopes. "Most of the resorts in Tahoe have north facing slopes so their snow sticks around a little bit and they have expansive snow making, so people have been able to ride since before Christmas. The skiing has been there. It hasn't been phenomenal but it's been there," explained Denney.

Other stores who primarily deal with biking have seen a significant increase in business with riders still peddling all winter. "With the weather situation this year, it's been favorable for the bicycle business. We've been very busy with this kind of mild winter were having but we're certainly concerned for the latter part of the year which is the other part of our business… which is paddle sports," explained Paul McIntyre.

There's concern that water skiing, canoeing, and kayaking could be limited this year with low lake levels, so everyone is hoping for lots of rain soon. "We would be more than happy to have the bike business slow down a little bit in order to have the rain and the water and the snowpack we're going to need later in the year,” said McIntyre.

At Mount Shasta Ski Park, there's 14 inches of snow at the top of the mountain and 10 inches at the base. Another 12-14 inches are needed for the park to open.


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